By Ben Lane, TSB Staff
At their annual City Council Strategic Planning Session on Thursday, members gathered to discuss their plans for the next year and beyond. The goal was to identify a small list of goals that the council would like to address in the future.
Mayor Brian Loughmiller provided a comprehensive list of 16 items that the council discussed and debated. After lengthy discussion on various topics ranging from the Gateway Hotel and its surrounding land, development initiatives for downtown McKinney, and even the planning of the long-discussed McKinney natatorium, the council pared the list down to the five main items that they want to focus on in 2013.
“The main thing with a retreat like this is to try to narrow things down to a workable list. And even though it took a long time to get there, I think it worked out well,” Mayor Loughmiller told TownSquareBuzz.com after the meeting.
All council members were present for Thursday’s meeting except for David Brooks, who recently announced that he will not run for re-election. Those present, along with Loughmiller, pared their list to include:
1. Targeting for 2013 is the continued planning for the Gateway Hotel/Conference Center development, meaning not just the center itself but the 90 acres around it as well.
2. Developing improvement strategies for the Collin County Regional Airport.
3. Developing a strategy for partnering with Collin College on projects that the college may want to get accomplished in McKinney.
4. Determining what the city will do with the nine-acre tract of land that the city acquired near downtown where the old courthouse used to be.
5. The development of the Craig Ranch corporate center along Highway 121.
The council has asked City Manager Jason Gray’s office to provide an update on these five items within 90 days so they can begin to move forward and make progress on these important goals.
“What we’re asking for is in the next 90 days, bring us back some ideas of what we’re doing, what the next steps are, and a plan that we can point to in terms of here’s what we expect in terms of completion,” Loughmiller said.
There are many projects on Loughmiller’s master list that require more attention and significant forethought for the future. Many of these projects will shape the development of McKinney for the next 20 years and beyond.
“The idea (of this planning session) is to give us something realistic so that we know over a 12-14 month period we have an attainable goal,” Loughmiller said. “Because if you don’t set an attainable goal, then we could be sitting here two years from now talking about the same thing, not being further along.”